JJ Abrams defends the sexual violence in his new TV series ‘Westworld’

Exec producer says, 'It's a series and it goes somewhere for a reason'

JJ Abrams has defended the sexually violent content in his new TV show Westworld.

The opening scene of the HBO sci-fi series, which premieres on Sunday (October 2), has been criticised for showing a lifelike female robot being dragged away by a male character who is about to rape her.

Abrams, who is one of the series’ executive producers, told the Press Association: “I would say the criticism is accurate but you can’t tell a story about oppression without depicting the oppressed. If it was a movie I would say, ‘Damn it, they’re 100% right.’ It’s a series and it goes somewhere for a reason.”

He continued: “No one was going into this thinking ‘let’s do a show that somehow dehumanises women’. This is a show, I would argue, very much about the opposite. I would say to anyone who says the show might be too violent and exploitative….and frankly anyone else, keep watching.”

Co-created by Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonathan Nolan, Westworld is one of the most anticipated new TV shows of the US fall season. Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton and James Marsden lead its impressive ensemble cast. In the UK, it will premiere on Sky Atlantic at a date to be confirmed.

READ: 7 Reasons HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Is Going To Be Your New Favourite TV Show